For most people HGTV and the DIY Network are an everyday part of a Homeowners life. They give you great ideas on your next dream project while educating you on the process.
This is where the wheels can come off. You have to keep in mind this is Television that is designed to Entertain! There are scripts,  producers (and actors in some shows) and you need to realize that the first priority in all of these shows is to make GOOD TELEVISION and entertain you while bringing in Ad Revenue from Advertisers. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this except you need to keep this in mind if you are trying to educate yourself in a process. This would be like watching Dr. Oz instead of going to your real doctor for medical advice, it may not be the best plan.
While watching these shows here are some things you need to watch for.
The budget is ALMOST ALWAYS Wrong. A lot of these projects are done in Toronto Canada where building Codes are much lower than here in the United States.
Product placement: If you see Brand Names in a show the product was either donated or at a reduced cost. They also don’t include this product in the budget.
Labor: Labor can be half of the budget and except for the exception above is never included in the budget.
Schedule: A kitchen remodel that is complete can typically take 6-8 weeks. This is because if you want quality work you can’t have all of the trades walking over each other all day. It costs more and gives you a lower quality product in the end.
Your Contractor is your Expert: Problems on a Remodel will always happen. You are hiring your Remodeler to be your Professional to search out for potential problems. Many times on TV you have problems that were predicted off camera and are there to make good television. A good contractor can spot many of the problems before the project starts.
Shows take 9 months to get out of production so sometimes a product was in style during the taping and has been changed, discontinued, or upgraded before the show airs.
Just remember that the budget, the schedule, and the problems are generally not “natural” and are are selected and produced on these shows.